Supporting Communities

Extern is the leading charity on the island of Ireland tackling homelessness, rehabilitation and prevention.

Extern provides a range of services to adults:

  • who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,
  • who are dealing with alcohol/drug addiction,
  • who are returning to the community following a custodial sentence; and,
  • adults who are deemed to be at risk of offending or causing harm and require intensive monitoring and support.


Extern - Homelessness

Extern’s work with people who are homeless is primarily provided through the following:

  • a 36-bed hostel providing temporary accommodation and support to adults who are homeless;
  • a purpose-built 20-bed unit and a 14-bed unit which provide accommodation, supervision and monitoring to medium to high risk offenders until they can be positively reintegrated into the community; and
  • an outreach team working with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and other key stakeholders to provide assistance, support and advocacy to adults and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Extern also provides support to asylum seekers and refugees who are affected by homelessness. This work has seen us working with increasing numbers of younger adults from outside the European Union in order to provide them with practical assistance in finding and securing accommodation following once they have been given leave to remain.

Safer Communities

Extern provides supported and monitored accommodation for up to 34 medium- to high-risk offenders who require intensive monitoring and supervision until their release and reintegration back into the community. This accounts for almost one-half of such beds available in Northern Ireland and we work with some of the most challenging referrals from the criminal justice system. Extern also provides a range of support to medium- to high-risk offenders leaving prison and residing in the community including-

  • strict monitoring and ensuring adherence to their release conditions;
  • management of any health issues which they face including the provision of pastoral care;
  • re-establishing family contacts in the community, and
  • providing training and employment opportunities to secure their future and reduce the likelihood of their reoffending.

Addiction Support

Extern - Addiction Support

Extern staff provide a range of complementary services that support people who misuse alcohol and those who have an alcohol and/or drug addiction.

In addition to providing support through an outreach team which works directly with adults who are at risk of homelessness as a result of their severe alcohol use, Extern also works with people who are homeless who are also IV drug users. We do this by working in partnership with the police, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Public Prosecution Service to support these people to stabilise their IV drug misuse and significantly reduce any harm they are causing.

Extern also works in the Northern and Southern Health and Social Care Trust areas to provide a range of physical, social and psychological interventions and support aimed at reducing drug or alcohol-related harm. This support includes the provision of drug and alcohol outreach services and drop-in services for chronic drinkers.

Refugee Support

Extern - Refugee Support

Extern’s Refugee Support Service was established by Supporting People in 2013 and is a dedicated service for individuals and families who have been granted refugee status and who have been given leave to remain in the UK.

The team work intensively with refugees during the 28 day notice period given to move out of NASS accommodation and provide medium to long term specialist and practical support and advice to resettle in the community. This ongoing intensive, comprehensive one-to-one support includes but is not limited to: housing, benefits/financial and budgetary management, health, education, legal status, training and employment, family reunification and community integration. The service aims to prevent homelessness and to maintain tenancies by directly supporting individuals who have housing issues and practical problems settling in the local community.

Extern’s Refugee Support Service work across the community and has existing networks with a range of other refugee support organisations. The team are active participants in the Migrant Forum, Refugee and Asylum Forum and the Northern Ireland Asylum Stakeholder’s Forum.

The Refugee Support Service has seen the biggest growth in uptake of service recently, with 101 individuals supported over the six month period from April – September 2015. These figures reflect the demand for support for individuals seeking asylum and granted refugee status in NI under the current asylum system.

NI Syrian VPR Resettlement Scheme

In 2015, Extern was approached to provide support as a DSD Delivery Partner to Syrian refugees as part of NI’s participation in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, based on the organisation’s history and expertise in delivering a high standard of specialist professional assessment and support to refugees and more broadly, to those who are vulnerable, across a wide range of ages and complexity of need.

The Extern Syrian VPR Resettlement Support Service provide key-workers to support individuals and families arriving under the NI Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Staff work intensively with individuals and families from point of arrival, providing holistic assessment of needs, practical support and link-up with statutory services to help families resettle in NI. This service is provided in partnership with Barnardo’s NI and the Red Cross.

Services previously provided by FASA

Extern provides support services related to early and crisis intervention. This will focus on people who are at risk of suicide or mental ill health. There will also be additional work which builds on Extern’s existing addiction contracts, primarily focusing on early family interventions and counselling provision. Finally the CADINS project will develop and deliver an integrated education and prevention plan to raise awareness of the impact of drugs and alcohol locally

Extern in Northern Ireland
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105869
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: 20055318
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333